Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran does not seek an escalation of tensions in the region, but underscored that the Islamic Republic would not easily give up its right to oil exports.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran never seeks tensions in the region and does not want any trouble to emerge in international waterways, but will never easily relinquish its right to export oil either,” Rouhani said in a meeting with Rob Macaire, Britain’s new ambassador to Tehran, on Tuesday.
Last week, Rouhani warned his US counterpart not to play with the lion’s tail after Donald Trump’s push to halt Iran’s export of oil, saying a war with Iran would be “the mother of wars” and that control over the Strait of Hormuz is only one of Iran’s advantages.
Elsewhere in the Tuesday meeting, Rouhani pointed to the “major historical juncture” regarding the Iran nuclear deal, saying it is necessary for Europe to explicitly announce its measures to make up for the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“The Islamic Republic of Iran is always ready for enhanced interaction and good ties with European countries, and now, after the US’s illegal exit from the JCPOA, the ball is in Europe’s court in the limited remaining time,” he underlined.
The British envoy, for his part, voiced his government’s support for maintaining the JCPOA, saying the European parties have launched extensive efforts, particularly in the economic arena, to save the deal.
Highlighting the significance of Iran’s policy of de-escalation in the region, Macaire said London seeks closer ties with Tehran and believes in diplomacy and negotiated solution to conflicts.
On May 8, the US president pulled his country out of the JCPOA, which was achieved in 2015 after years of negotiations among Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany).
Following the US exit, Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the accord.
Meanwhile, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has underlined that any decision to keep the JCPOA running without the US should be conditional on “practical guarantees” from the Europeans.